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Aug 19, 2007 07:27 PM

Main & Danforth (Gerrard East) restaurants?

I am thinking about moving into the neighborhood and being a downtown girl - I actually don't know much about this neighborhood.

Are there are good neighborhood places to eat of various price ranges? Would love to know!

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  1. Well, I live a little west of that area, so I am not really familiar with the places that are at your doorstep, but there are several adjacent neighbourhoods that offer some great food exploration.
    Of course, you are an easy subway ride to any of the great food on the Danforth - not only Greek, but a number of different cuisines. You would be a stroll away from Rendez Vous, an Ethiopian place on the Danforth, for example.
    You can also easily hop on the 506 streetcar and ride west to little India - you will find numerous threads on the subject of good Indian food in the area. You could stay on the streetcar a little longer and ride over to "the best French food in Chinatown" at Batifole (Gerrard just west of Logan) for something more upscale. Search this board and you will find numerous recs for Batifole; I haven't tried it yet, but it is high on my list. A little further east on the streetcar and you will hit "Chinatown east" at Gerrard and Broadview, which has many cheap eats. I've only eaten at a few places there, but it is a great area to grab a Chinese bun or some Vietnamese food - there are a couple popular Pho places along the stretch (Mimi's and the new Pho Bo Tay (close to Batifole)), and Hanoi 3 Seasons is usually pretty good.
    South of you is the Beach, which has a dearth of good food according to many post on this board, but which seems to be improving, notably with ViVetha, a relatively new place near Victoria Park and Queen Street East. Not a very short walk from your area, but not a terribly long one either, and a pleasant one, especially if you wander down along Glen Stewart Park.
    The dining all along Queen Street is improving, and you can take the bus south to Queen and then hop on the 501 to explore the options in Leslieville and in the Broadview/Queen area. There are lots of suggestions for those areas on the boards.
    Hope that helps a little - hopefully someone in your neighbourhood will come up with some suggestions even closer to home.

    1. If you walk north from Gerrard St. over the Main Street bridge and go west on Danforth Ave., north side, after a couple of blocks you'll reach Mika Japanese restaurant at 2750 Danforth E. Good Japanese food, a choice of standard tables or lower ones, good service. Their number is (416) 698-0283. That's the closest Japanese restaurant to where you live. There are also a number of them along Queen Street East in the Beaches, a short bus ride down Main Street. Our favourite is Yumei Sushi at 2116 Queen St East (north side), phone (416) 698-7705. They have a small private alcove at the back for 5 or 6 diners, but you need to reserve. In fact its a good idea anyway.

      1. Haven't been myself yet but I're heard from more than one local that Cool Runnings Jamaican restaurant on Main just south of Gerrard is worth checking out. And it looks like there's a new Jamaican juice bar opening up just a few doors down (where that grill/bar used to be).

        Cool Runnings
        146 Main St, Toronto, ON M4E2V8, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: JamieK

          I've eaten at Cool Runnings and it was pretty decent. Going up to the Danforth helps. There are some nice spots down on Kingston Rd. too (10-15 min walk): Corvina's for hungarian; My Farmer's Daughter has great to-go meals; Feathers pub has decent food & a great single-malt collection. But right at Main/Gerrard there isn't a whole lot. The fish & chips are ok at Bill's but the place itself is a bit sketchy (and there's better up on the Danforth across from Canadian Tire, although I forget the name).

          1. re: Shandra

            The fish & chips place across from Canadian Tire is Duckworth's, which is okay but not great, according to other posts on this board. Might be worth it to go over to Dundas and Coxwell for F&C at British Style Fish & Chips, which has received many positive reviews on this board and elsewhere (Star, CBC Metro Morning, etc.)

            2638 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

            British Style
            73 Coxwell Ave, Toronto, ON M4L3B1, CA

        2. There's Basil's Thai Kitchen, on the north side of the Danforth, just east of the ever-expanding Toronto Honda. But if you want real, never-going-anywhere-else-again PanAsian (especially if you want the widest and best humanely available selection of vegetarian options), I'd head over to Jean's Vegetarian Kitchen at Linnsmore (between Greenwood and Coxwell). Harry, Jean's husband, started what is now Basil's and claims to have trained the chef. Better to stick with the real deal, imho.

          Ikki Sushi just opened about two weeks ago. It's on the south side, just east of Woodbine. It's a second location for this family - the first is on Kingston Road - and we had not-bad takeout from there shortly after it opened.

          And lest we forget: Relish. North side at Cedarvale. Excellent, tapas-style menu and a solid wine list. Walk if you can. Parking is at a premium.

          Apart from that, you're largely into the land of cardboard take-out pizza and Timmy's. Not bad in a pinch, but you can do much better.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Webdude

            Ikky at Danforth and Woodbine? Awesome!

            1. re: thenurse

              Yeah. It's where Mark's (sp?) diner used to be. A real improvement, and certainly welcome in da hood.

              And icky at Woodbine and Danforth? Totally describes my entire life.

              1. re: Webdude

                Thanks all for the great replies... As I said - we were thinking about moving out there... But one of our criterion is it's got to have good restos within walking distance.

                1. re: Apple

                  Funny you think that Main/D-forth is downtown, but I suppose it depends on where you're coming from!
                  I would suggest moving further south and/or west if you want restaurants with variety and within walking distance.

                2. re: Webdude

                  Icky also describes my experience with Ikki Sushi takeout from the Kingston Road branch. I've never had worse clams. Personally, I'd avoid any of their restaurants.

              2. There is a spot on the west side of Main Street, just south of Danforth that looks German. I wandered into it by default one day and discovered that its kitsch and food were actually quite good. I don't know the name of it though but you can't miss it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Zengarden

                  That's Grumble's! A well-established German deli and food shop that's been around for years. Before they moved to 260 Main St., they were well-known in the Beaches at their location on Queen east of Lee. They used to have a Santa Claus in their chimney on the roof.

                  They have a lot of German and European food products. They have deli meats and some good European potato and other salads. They even have an area in the back with tables where you and sit down and eat hot meals. They usually have yummy baked goods on display in their window that I believe they bake on premise

                  Their current location was a piano store that had been there for years and years before Grumble's moved in.

                  It's a real gem in a chow-challenged area. Thanks for mentioning it.

                  290 Main St, Toronto, ON M4C, CA

                  1. re: JamieK

                    The two women who run Grumble's are also a pleasure to deal with. I think their choice of location was strategic - it's right next to the dance studio that many a young girl (and a few boys) in the city frequent. And while you can make all the eating disorder jokes you want, let me tell ya - on Saturday mornings, that "bakery" (as my girls call it) is packed.

                    1. re: Webdude

                      My daughter used to go to the dance centre before Grumble's moved there. But now we go to appointments at the medical centre often and drop into Grumble's and I often think, boy I wish this place was here when we around for ballet, tap and jazz dances. I imagine now that it's a great place for dancers and parents to get great sandwiches or salads or baked goods or whatever. There was nothing when we used to hang around but I did buy a couple of neat items from the piano shop where Grumble's is now because they ran an antique business on the side. I still cherish a beautiful blue-and-white pitcher I got there.